GLADEWATER - Darnell McKnight headed up a dominant rushing attack for the Bears with 139 yards on 13 carries, and Gladewater closed the regular season with a 38-36 win over the Center Roughriders at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium.
McKnight also had 80 return yards for Gladewater, which will head to the playoffs with a 5-5 record (4-1 in district play). Center ends the regular season at 8-2 and 4-1.
Marcello Jackson added 77 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries for Gladewater. Isaiah Davis picked up 82 yards on 13 carries, and Blake Guthrie passed for 24 yards.
Center quarterback Kyle Parks rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown and completed 5 of 6 passes for 118 yards. DeCorey McGee carried 11 times for 136 yards and scored three times, and Sayoddrick Barnes rushed for 107 yards on 10 carries.
Gladewater took the early 7-0 lead on a Jackson 3-yard touchdown run,, but Center countered with an 11-play, 59-yard drive and a 1-yard touchdown run by McGee. The PAT failed, and the Bears led 7-6 with 5:08 left in the period.
McKnight's 15-yard run capped a 75-yard drive for the Bears to boost the lead to 14-6, but Center answered with a 75-yard march of its own - scoring on a 43-yard run by McGee and adding the two-pointer to tie things at 14-14.
Gladewater moved back in front with a 34-yard field goal by Fernando Serrano, but Center took its first lead on the next drive when Barnes raced in from eight yards out to put the Roughriders in front 21-17.
The Bears put two scoring drives together to build a 31-21 cushion, moving 71 yards in seven plays and scoring on a 3-yard run by Davis and then marching 91 yards in 11 plays and getting a 35-yard TD run by Jackson.
McGee's 75-yard scoring jaunt pulled Center to within 31-28 late in the third, but Guthrie scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth to give the Bears a 38-28 lead.
Center kept the pressure on, scoring on a 3-yard run by Parks and a Parks-to-Evans 2-point pass to make the final 38-36.